Researching property development in "interesting times"

Knight, T. and Boyd, David (2009) Researching property development in "interesting times". In: 25th Annual Conference of the Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2009, 7 September 2009 through 9 September 2009, Nottingham, UK.

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As part of a wider study this paper will examine the impact of the economic downturn on a research project on property developers and discuss ways in which its focus and the methodology employed have necessarily changed. Research projects seek, at least, to develop overarching understandings of situations, if not an abstract generalised theory. This requires a degree of stability which allows similarities to be identified and comparisons to be made. The impact of the economic crisis has invalidated this assumption. However, in reality, property development operates against a background of changing economic, political and social conditions and it has long been acknowledged that the development cycle is signified by an alternating cycle of booms and slumps. These continuous changing circumstances were not factored into the first stage of this research which comprised a series of semi-structured interviews with independent trader developers. It was established that the lengthy nature of development allows a degree of flexibility to occur during implementation, thus, development projects are subject to varying levels of modification during the process. Alterations to the original development proposal are often made in reaction to changing market conditions to maximise returns. However, during the process of the research the UK property market collapsed. Second stage interviews show that speculative developments have all but stopped and funding for pre-lets and pre-sales has become significantly more difficult to come by. Interviewees now recall past experiences of recessions. This step change could be regarded as invalidating the research. The methodological and theoretical implications of this will be discussed, concluding that research has been enriched by this collapse revealing more correctly the nature of the field under view.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Change, Methodology, Norms, Preunderstanding, Alternating cycle, Change, Degree of flexibility, Degree of stability, Development cycle, Development project, Economic crisis, Economic downturn, Market condition, Methodology, Norms, Preunderstanding, Property development, Property market, Semi structured interviews, Social conditions, Step changes, Project management, Research, Economic and social effects
Subjects: K900 Others in Architecture, Building and Planning
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment > Integrated Design Construction
REF UoA Output Collections > REF2021 UoA13: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning
Depositing User: Yasser Nawaz
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2016 09:55
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2020 12:27

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